For the first time ever, I am playing this spring in an adult team tennis league sponsored by the United States Tennis Association. I guess most people sign up as a team, but I signed up as an individual so was assigned to a team composed of guys who work for R.J. Reynolds tobacco company.

We are not a strong team. I am probably the best player on the team — which is just another way of saying we are not a strong team.

Last weekend was our third match. Because of my traveling, and Chipper’s baseball schedule, I missed the first match. The second match rained out, so the third match was my first. It was actually the third time I played tennis in 2005 (other than hitting with the kids). I am sorry to say that things did not go well.

I played at #1 singles and lost 6-2, 6-1. I got whooped, but the scores don’t accurately reflect how close the match was. If I would have held serve every time we went to deuce on my serve, the scores would have been 4 and 3.

Still, my conditioning is terrible, affecting my footwork and ball-striking. And when you are not getting enough oxygen, it is hard to think.

Nonetheless, for my poor performance, I apologize to my coaches, Mad Dog and Glory, and all of my fans.

Postscript: In my second league match, playing at #1 singles, I won 6-3, 6-1. Turns out the first team I played against has gone to the state championships in each of the past 3 years, and have a number of what in golf would be called “sand baggers” (people playing below their actual ability level).

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